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Archive for December, 2011

FIRST ON 3: Woman killed, two injured in morning wreck near Shallotte

Monday, December 12th, 2011

SHALLOTTE, NC (WWAY) — A woman is dead and two other people injured after a crash this morning near Shallotte. Highway Patrol says it happened around 8:30 a.m. on McMilly Road.

Tpr. K.E. Herring says Lajai Webster, 16, of Longwood was heading north on McMilly on his way to West Brunswick High School when he passed another car in a no passing zone. Herring says as Webster moved back into the proper lane, he lost control, overcorrected and crossed the center line. Herring says another car, driven by Rita Alford, 45, of Bolivia, hit Webster’s car.

Alford died in the crash. A passenger in Alford’s car, Erin West, 30, of Leland, was taken by ambulance to New Hanover Regional Medical Center in Wilmington. Webster was airlifted to NHRMC. Herring says both West and Webster have life-threatening injuries.

Charges are pending.

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Perdue fundraiser to admit campaign finance violation

Monday, December 12th, 2011

Associated Press

RALEIGH, NC (AP) — A former top fundraiser for Gov. Bev Perdue is expected to appear in court Wednesday to plead guilty to a charge related to campaign finance violations.

Peter Anthony Reichard of Greensboro is accused of funneling $32,000 in under-the-table payments from a wealthy Perdue donor through a private company he controlled to pad the salary of a full-time campaign fundraiser. Reichard was Perdue’s campaign finance director in 2007-08, at the time the illegal payments were made.

Reichard’s lawyer, Hart Miles of Raleigh, says he expects the case against his client to be resolved Wednesday. Reichard was indicted last month on a felony count of obstruction of justice.

Wake District Attorney Colon Willoughby says the criminal cases against three others with ties to the Democratic governor will move forward into next year.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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FIRST ON 3: Family loses home to fire, unable to get a hold of 911 operator

Monday, December 12th, 2011

Columbus County, NC (WWAY) — A Columbus County family lost their home and all of their possessions after a house fire last week. The couple was not able to get in touch with a 911 operator at the time of the fire.

“It’s a lot because you just work so hard and you just want somebody to go out there and put the fire out,” said fire victim Amy Smith. “If they just would have responded sooner we might be going through our own home with our new family. We can’t now.”

Brian and Amy Smith were in the bathroom of their home off Butler Town Road when their dog started barking. Brian Smith says that’s when he left the room to investigate. The fire that began on their porch was beginning to spread.

“It’s one of those times where you just don’t know what to do man,” said fire victim Brian Smith. “I don’t know, your adrenaline is pumping, it’s registering in your head but you can’t get the words out of your mouth.”

The Smith’s say after they safely exited their house they called 911. Instead of an operator they got no response.

“I started to dial 911 and I started to get weird error messages that said call cannot be completed as dialed,” said Amy Smith. “I mean just random messages.”

Neighbors who were attempting to call 911 on their behalf had similar issues.

“I just came out, the front porch was on fire, got the phone and started calling 911,” said neighbor Kristy Walters. “I called 3 or 4 times and never got an answer. It just rang and rang and rang.”

Amy Smith was later able to get a hold of a firefighter that she knew personally and that individual alerted the fire department. Finally the fire was extinguished. But it was too late, the house along with all of their possessions were gone.

“I believe if they could have been contacted then the house could have be saved,” said Brian Smith.

Jeremy Jernigan, Emergency Services Director of Columbus County, says this is the first time anything like this has happened. He also says the 911 center went “live” with new equipment last week. Jernigan says the incident is under investigation.

The Smith family is currently living with other family members and even added a member to that family over the weekend. They say despite their terrible loss they have one amazing little gain.

“Even though our house is a total loss I did get one great thing out of it, I got my little boy,” says Amy Smith. “He’s completely healthy, he’s passed all of his test and it’s like the best Christmas present even through this disaster.”

The Smith family does not know how much money they will receive from their insurance company.

If you would like to help the Smith family and their new baby boy the Pleasant Plains Baptist Church is collecting any and all donations. The church can be reached at 910-642-3939.

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Greenville forms youth crimes and gangs task force

Monday, December 12th, 2011

GREENVILLE, NC (AP) — Greenville’s police chief has formed a youth crimes and gangs task force as one response to recent violence involving East Carolina University students at apartment complexes.

The Greenville Daily Reflector reported the Dec. 4 shooting death of 18-year-old Demetrius Lamar Boone is the most recent of such violence. Another man was stabbed in the same incident.

The task force formed by Chief William Anderson is made up of law enforcement agencies in Pitt County. It will coordinate gang information and make arrests for gang-related crimes a countywide operation.

The university doesn’t have a formal agreement with the privately owned off-campus apartments allowing campus police to patrol at those complexes. ECU officials say they’ve talking with police about extending campus jurisdiction, and the apartment complexes are included in those talks.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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Members of Durham churches offer DNA samples

Monday, December 12th, 2011

DURHAM, NC (AP) — Members of a several churches in Durham have offered DNA samples in case they could become be bone marrow or stem cell donors.

The News & Observer of Raleigh reported 49 members of several churches went to First Presbyterian Church on
Sunday to offer DNA samples to enter in a national registry of bone marrow and stem cell donors.

The Rev. Joe Harvard says the donors are giving themselves for Christmas.

Associate pastor Marilyn Hedgpeth came up with the idea after seeing how stem cells and bone marrow offered hope to two member families with loved ones suffering from cancer and other diseases.

The church also raised money for the donor program and had a table for people to sign up as organ donors.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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News provided by WWAY NewsChannel 3 and the StarNewsOnline

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